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The goal of the interpreter is not to seek to discern one conceptual unity within the book, or to reconstruct one consistent line of theological discourse throughout the dialogue, but rather to see how this literature was designed to function as a normative guide within a community of faith, which acknowledges its authority.
Brevard Childs, Intro. to OT as Scripture, p. 533
...the knowledge of God which we are invited to cultivate is not that which, resting satisfied with empty speculation, only flutters in the brain, but a knowledge which will prove substantial and fruitful wherever it is duly perceived and rooted in the heart.
John Calvin, The Institutes, bk 1, ch 5
Resurrection, not progress, not evolution, not enlightenment, but what the word means, namely, a call from heaven to us: 'Rise up! You are dead, but I will give you life.'
Karl Barth, Jesus Victor, from A Chorus of Witnesses
Prayer is not just one of the many things people do in life, but rather 'the basic receptive attitude out of which all of life can receive new vitality.'
Dan Postema, Space for God, p. 92
There is no real safety in being negative. As William James pointed out, a negative choice commits the chooser just as much as a positive one does.
Mary Midgley in Science as Salvation p.110
...God, the Maker of the world, is manifested to us in Scripture, and his true character expounded, so as to save us from wandering up and down, as in a labyrinth, in search of some doubtful deity.
John Calvin, The Institutes, bk1, ch6
...all reasoning takes place within the context of some traditional mode of thought.
Alisdair MacIntyre, After Virture, p. 222
The chief reason for writers' inarticulateness on certain subjects is the lack of experience or reading background that can stock their reservoir of ideas.
Edward P.J. Corbett, Classical Rhetoric, p. 24
'Get all you can; save all you can; give all you can.'
John Wesley
'Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.'
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations
The duty of a Theologian, however, is not to tickle the ear, but confirm the conscience, by teaching what is true, certain, and useful.
John Calvin, The Institutes, bk1, ch14
I don't believe that God is a fussy faultfinder in dealing with theological ideas. He who provides forgiveness for a sinful life will also surely be a generous judge of theological reflections. Even an orthodox theologian can be spiritually dead, while perhaps a heretic crawls on forbidden bypaths to sources of life.
Helmut Thielicke, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians, p. 37
...He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and the needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me? declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 22:16
We moderns are accustomed to finding God in peace and beauty and silence. The Old Testament most often knows him present behind the violence and flow and clatter of everyday life.
Paul and Elizabeth Achtemeier, The OT Roots of Our Faith
A man's true glory consists in gentleness, humility, and unfeigned charity.
John Chrysostom, from Golden Mouth, p.97

Ambiance

19th October 2012

Wittgenstein once wrote, “‘Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.”  The following quotes are collections of words which sound the common theme of Wirkungsgeschichte in my own mind.  I hope they play a similar tune for you.

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Ludwig Wittgenstein

The idea that in order to get clear about the meaning of a general term one had to find the common element in all its applications has shackled philosophical investigation; for it has not only led to no result, but also made the philosopher dismiss as irrelevant the concrete cases, which alone could have helped him to understand the usage of the general term.”

 

Ludwig Wittgenstein, The Blue Book, p. 19-20

 

 

 

H.R. Jauss

“If one looks at the moments in history when literary works toppled the taboos of the ruling morals or offered the reader new solutions for the moral casuistry of his lived praxis, which thereafter could be sanctioned by the consensus of all readers in the society, then a still-little-studied area of research opens itself up to the literary historian.  The gap between literature and history, between aesthetic and historical knowledge, can be bridged if literary history does not simply describe the process of general history…but…discovers…that properly socially formative function that belongs to literature…” H.R. Jauss.

 

 

 

“The readings, the interpretations and critical judgements of art, literature and music from within art, literature and music are of a penetrative authority rarely equaled by those offered from outside, by those propounded by the non-creator, this is to say the reviewer, the critic, the academic.”   George Steiner, Real Presencesp. 12.

George Steiner

 

Georgia Warnke

 

 

“In confronting texts, different views and perspectives, alternative life forms and world views, we can put our own prejudices in play and learn to enrich our own point of view.”

Georgia Warnke, Gadamer:  Hermeneutics, Tradition and Reason p.4

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Karl Barth

 

 

‘I have been called a ‘declared enemy of historical criticism’…But what I reproach them with is not historical criticism, the right and necessity of which on the contrary I once more explicitly recognize, but the way they stop at an explanation of the text which I cannot call any explanation, but only the first primitive step towards one, namely, establishing ‘what is said’…’ Karl Barth, Romans, 1921, p. x.

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Karlfried Froehlich

 

 

“‘Understanding’ a biblical text cannot stop with the elucidation of its prehistory and of its historical Sitz im Leben, with its focus on the intention of the author.  Understanding must take into account the text’s post-history as the paradigm of the text’s own historicity, i.e. as the way the text itself can function as a source of self-interpretation in a variety of contexts, and thus through its historical interpretations is participating in the shaping of life.”  Karlfried Froelich, Church History and the Bible in M.S. Burrows and P. Rorem (eds), Biblical Hermeneutics in Historical Perspective (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 1991, p. 9)

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Andrew Thiselton

 

“It is not enough to establish past ‘facts’ about the text once-and-for-all; it requires successive engagements with successive readers to bring out its potential meaning in interaction with a series of horizons.”  Anthony Thiselton, summarizing Jauss, in Thiselton on Hermeneutics, p. 293.

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“…Gadamer acknowledges a degree of stability in the role of communal judgements, and in the corporate transmission of traditions.  Even if a ‘classic’ yields a plurality of actualizations, it belongs to cumulative traditions of acknowledged wisdom (phronesis).  p. 8  Thiselton on Hermeneutics.

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Henry Venn

 

 

“…Henry Venn of the Church Missionary Society…argued that the fullness of the church would only come with the fullness of the national manifestations of different national churches…”  Andrew Walls, The Missionary Movement in Christian History, p. 12.

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Dr. Andrew Walls

 

 

“Perhaps a comparative history of translation would be an illuminating way of approaching the history of Christian mission and expansion-not only  in the geographical and statistical sense of the spread of the Church, but the dynamic expansion of the influence of Christ within the Church that comes from attempts at the radical application of his mind within particular cultures.”   Andrew Walls, The Missionary Movement in Christian History, p. 30.

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